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Archive for September, 2009

Gostana, Bandra – Huge Burgers!!!

September 27, 2009 1 comment

I heard about Gostana from a friend who was eager to try out the burgers here. So we both went along on a sunny friday afternoon along with another foodie to try out this small. First impressions were that the place is very small, looked much smaller than what we had thought, looking at the pictures. Anyways, we and two more patrons were to only customers there at that time. I think the place can seat around 15 people. We quickly got down to ordering a Chicken Steak Burger and an Indian Chicken Burger. What I liked about the order was that the food was made right in front of us which was a delight to watch. The staff was friendly as well and they were eager for feedback which was a good thing. The burgers arrived quickly and we got down to the business of hogging! The Indian burger was rich with spices, though thankfully, it wasn’t teekha. The Steak Burger was rather a plain delight. On a taste scale, I think Gostana Burgers fall behind those of KFC and McDonalds though on the nutrition scale I would like to think that Gostana leads the two MNCs by a fair margin! The burgers were priced at INR 130 (Indian) and INR 120 (Steak). A rather steep price for a burger but given its size (nearly three times the size of a McChicken) it isn’t to difficult to know why! However, I think the pricing is still steep, maybe a burger for INR 90-100 would have sufficed. A INR 90 burger at Mamma Mia is as filling s Gostana and there is no reason why I would want to pay more for a burger here! Overall, I think Gostana is a lovely place to hang out with a big huge burger. The location is nearly perfect and so are the burgers! If only they could reduce their prices it would make me wanna go there again and again!!

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Kashid-Murud Trip

September 27, 2009 8 comments

Kashid has been a long awaiting trip for me. Ever seen I saw pictures of the long winding roads leading to the beach and the palm trees lined up alongside the white sands, I have been itching to see this heavenly place with own eyes! The moment arrived on a Saturday when we set our course for Kashid in a friend’s car. It didn’t take us long to navigate the early morning Mumbai traffic and soon enough we were cruising on beautiful roads including the Mumbai-Goa highway. For most part the road was good, except for when we had to traverse Alibaug to reach Kashid. But that was only a small let down which did not deter us from pursing our goal.

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In approximately three and a half hours we reached Kashid Beach. Taking into account the few stops we made for photo shoots, I think we made it to Kashid in good time. Once there, the four of us quickly ordered for some snacks – namely Omelette and Bread – that is the only thing, besides some chips, biscuits and tea that you get at the many shacks situated on the beach. But the best thing besides the beach, were the hammocks! Lazing around in the hammock, we took in the beautiful sights on offer.

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The beach, the white sands and the muddy waters are surrounded by two cliffs on either end. The beach itself is a 3KM stretch and there are carts available for those would like to check out the beach in its entirety.

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We weren’t interested in that and were more than happy to click some amazing pictures while lazing around the shacks. Some of us also caught a short and much needed nap. After Kashid, we headed out to Murud beach.

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We also went to Rajpuri from where the ferries are available to go to Janjira Fort. The area is very pretty with palm trees overlooking the calm sea. Spent some time clicking pictures of the fort and the beach.

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Though we didn’t get time to actually visit the fort – a trip we have scheduled for another time. Since it was in the middle of the day, we decided against going on the Murud beach and instead chill out by some restaurants overlooking the beach.

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We had lunch at the Anand Vatika, Murud, which specialised on sea food. So since we were at the heart of a fishing community, we were all for a sumptuous sea food lunch. We ordered for Prawns fry, Pomfret fry, and Prawns Biryani along with a lone chicken dish – Chicken 65. The meal was good albeit a bit oily but good nonetheless. We paid INR 150 each, thought was a bit expensive but then sea food anywhere is more expensive than other meat products!

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Once over with lunch, we decided to head back home. Reached home in around 4 hours. Overall, it was a wonderful trip. Was a disappointed that I did not get to see the sunset but besides that there are no complaints whatsoever!

Kashid is approximately 160kms from Mumbai. We took the Mumbai-Goa highway (NH17) and took a right turn from the highway to go to Alibaug. Once at Alibaug, we were directed to a bypass road that took us straight to Kashid through a small concretised stretch of road which is surrounded by trees and lovely houses. Murud is approximately 30kms ahead of Kashid and the road which goes to Kashid from Alibaug also goes straight to Murud as well. I am assuming if one keeps following the same road, they will reach Harihareshwar as well.

Here are the albums with pics:

Picasa: http://picasaweb.google.com/godzi.85/Kashid_Trip_26Sept09

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=324338&id=764395346

We Gathered, We rode, We conquered: Shivneri Fort

September 20, 2009 6 comments

It’s been a long time coming, a four year long wait to rid myself of the ghosts of the horrific crash that took place nearly four years ago – whilst returning back from Shivneri Fort. That unfaithful day, ended my blossoming hobby of sightseeing on my bike! But come September 20, 2009 and I was all pumped up to ride back up to the birth place of Shivaji Maharaj. Though in two minds, I decided to take on the challenge and rid myself of the fear once and forever!

Road to Shivneri

Met up with my office friend Daniel and his friends at Borivali National Park. Since we were already in Borivali, we took the Ghodbunder road to Thane and finally to the Eastern Express Highway. Asked around a bit and got the way to Kalyan and then to Murbad, our first stop on the way to the Fort. The roads, winding through the lush green fields were a joy to ride on. Impeccably maintained, it was a real treat to be riding my recently serviced Bajaj Pulsar 150.

Road

While on the way to Murbad and just after Kalyan we stopped to admire this standalone rock that was partly hidden by the clouds. Looked Oh! so amazing! Took some amazing pictures, infact all the four of us stopped to admire this lone rock. Soon after the entire rock got hidden by the white clouds, we got back to our rides and headed to Malshej Ghat. Stopped at a sightseeing point and took some more pictures. This was quite a long break for us – spent nearly 45 minutes clicking pictures and chit chatting.

Mountain

We then headed out to our final destination though a few long cuts did increase our time considerably. We stopped briefly for some snacks – tea and misal pav at a restaurant in Junnar. The lady at the counter had quite some humour! She was helpful in guiding us to the route for Shivneri Fort and in no time we reached the fort. Offcourse, the entire journey took more than 5 hours and perhaps the time could have been reduced had we taken the route from Ganesh Khind, which we eventually did while returning from the fort.

Shivneri

Once at the fort, it was a long long trek. Took bucket loads of pictures! And thanks to the cloudy weather there was a nice cool breeze blowing across which kept the dehydration away!. Spent nearly 2 hours at the fort without breaking into a sweat!

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Stairs

Grand Old Door

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Shivaji and his MotherFinally descended to the base and went hunting for food. Came across a veg restaurant on the road of Kalyan. Ordered for Thali and an extra serving of Gulab Jamun. The food was good, well cooked, not as oily as you generally find. Not extremely teekha either. For only INR 45, it was a worthwhile meal.

That was pretty much the last stop, or so we thought until the rains disrupted our ride and we had to take shelter for a good 30 mins. The unexpected rains forced us to search for shelter but by the time we found some we were already soaked! We did stop a few times after that to click some more pics – the most striking of which is the one with the rays of the sun break through the thick grey clouds (More pics on my Picasa album). Some of the pics where the clouds are kissing the top of the rolling hills are just breath taking.

Sun light breaking throughGetting back home took us little less time primarily as we rode a bit faster than in the morning and more importantly took all the right roads!! Total KMs covered is approximately 380 KMs. Quite a lot for a just a second ride out of town.

Overall, a great ride. For most part, the roads were good though an odd pothole here and there played spoilsport in what was otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

Here is a small route guide: Jogeshwari – Borivali – Dahisar – Ghodbunder Road – Eastern Expess Highway – Kalyan – Murbad – Malshej Ghats – Junnar – Shivneri Fort.

While coming back it was the same road though before we touched Malshej we went through Ganesh Hind. I think it saved us considerable amount of time. Though the roads are not top notch at Ganesh Hind the scenery more than makes up for the disappointing roads!

Here is the web album on Picasa with all the pics clicked: http://picasaweb.google.com/godzi.85/ShivneriFort

Green & Black’s: Maya Gold

September 16, 2009 8 comments

If you are a Dark Chocolate fan, then this is one bar of chocolate that is not to be missed! A higher concentrate of cocoa (55 percent) as compared to Bournville (35 percent), makes Maya Gold a must taste Dark Chocolate for any chocolate lover. The Green & Black’s bar is laced with orange flavour and spices – a first for me in chocolates. You can also taste traces of vanilla in the bar. Though the orange flavour is quite pungent it does not overwhelm the taste of the chocolate itself.

The bar though sweet is still very dark in every essence. It is not a sugary mix rather a carefully blended bar with the right amount of flavouring. If you are not a dark chocolate fan that Maya Gold is an excellent start! One of the best things about the chocolate is that it is made only from organic products and not genetically modified produce.

I would highly recommend anyone buying dark chocolate to try out Maya Gold – it is worth every penny!

Short Trip to Khopoli

September 6, 2009 2 comments

It was finally time I let go of my inhibitions and take it in my stride that I may crash if I go for a ride out of Mumbai! So I responded, with a ‘Yes’ to a friend’s message, fellow blogger friend and ‘crazy’ bike tourer, Deepak, for a dinner ride to Khopoli in Raigad District.

The whole bike gang from Bajaj Pulsar and Bike Nomads met up at the Vashi Toll Naka. It was my first ride after nearly 3 years and meeting some new old folks was a welcome relief! Though the new guys (new to me that is) were warm and welcoming as well! Once the greetings were out of the way, we moved on Rishabh Restaurant in Khopoli. We covered around 50-60 KMs from Vashi to reach Khopoli. For most of the stretch, the road was good except for a few places with craters. However, with no street lights, everyone was following the person in front of them. Off course the formation kept breaking again and again but for most part of it people followed the line diligently. In no time we reached Khopoli – pretty much a straight road with almost no left or right turns.

Once there, Deepak helped set up the tables and chairs and in no time the orders were placed as well – sev bhaji, dal fry, chicken dry and rotis and masala papad. The Sev Bhaji was delicious and was definitely worth the ride! It was good to be seated amongst bikers who have ridden to places as far as Leh Ladakh – was a treat listening to them talk about their experiences.  This was followed by a picture clicking session and anyone and everyone with a camera was clicking pictures.

Once the pictures were clicked and the bill paid, we finally bid adieu to each other and left for our respective homes. The ride back was far more pleasant except for this one bridge where a pothole consumed my entire bike! It wasn’t dangerous as much as it was frustrating driving through that small stretch but then again, it is part and parcel of the whole experience.

Also, thanks to Yogesh, found a new shortcut from the Eastern Express Highway to Hiranandani, Powai which was pretty neat I must say.

All in all, a good experience for me and a different one as well since it was my first time riding out of Mumbai at night! How ironic, all this time I was worried about a ride during the day and yet I ended up successfully completing a night ride.

Here are some random Pics:

The Steads

The Helmets

A part of the Gang (Deepak, Doc and a couple of other guys whose names I cannot recall)